Watching them change gas signs and flush hydrants
by Murray, class of '56
This has not been a good time for Mt. Morris. Besides the high gas prices, poor economy and the market crash that everybody else has had to endure, Mt. Morris residents have seen the town's livelihood threatened by two of our three major employers that departed or soon to be departing. Quebecor World ( Formerly Kable Printing) the third employer is currently highly medicated and on oxygen. They filed Chapter 11 last Jan. and filed unsuccessfully to borrow 1 billion to stay in business. Corporate management did not turn the business around and it is still in deep trouble. The last report on the Toronto Stock Exchange showed their stock last closing at 7 cents. Yeah, that's right....7 cents. It was $18 dollars when I left in '95. Guess I shoulda stayed huh? For all you good people who want to return to beautiful Mt. Morris I will offer you my house. I'm on Hannah right across the street from the golf course. It comes with a bright yellow golf cart and a prayer. If the wind is right you can sometimes hear bagpipe music coming from Sylvia Saunders, 4 houses south of us. If you have something to offer Curt Miller, he will bring you sweet corn when it's ready. Pete Smith drives by every day making the rounds so if you are in his sights he will stop for a visit. It's a golden opportunity to find out everything you ever wanted to know about the Red Sox.
On your next trip to Mt. Morris you might consider saving on gas and flying in. They just built two more hangers at our airport for a total of 7. You won't have any problems storing your plane. Plus, of course they have that great fly in breakfast on the 4th. We had some light poles and lights donated to Dillehay Park which are currently being installed. The park has 4 baseball diamonds, 4 soccer fields, 2 tennis courts, 6 basketball courts, two picnic pavilions, a super playground facility for tots, two sand volleyball courts and Warren Long. It's one of the few things in town getting bigger. Makes me want to be a kid again among other things. We walk there every morning and meet people that have apparently committed to getting into shape. You know... the ones with the ankle and/or wrist weights that stride along pumping their arms. Yeah, that's right, the ones that last about 3 days. I was shooting baskets the other day after walking when a couple of teenagers approached and I thought they might challenge me to a game of horse. They watched for a few minutes and saw how old I was and more than likely figured it wasn't worth the risk/reward.
As you would expect there really isn't much to tell about Mounder town this year. The water tower didn't need painting so that was a bummer. Some of the natives enjoyed watching the people at the Mobil station change gas prices every few days. The flushing of the fire hydrants was interesting. Of course we did have that tornado blast through here in August. The people at the golf course are still cleaning up.
With the departure of Watt Publishing and Kable News there will less people to sit around and watch the grass grow. The governor is foolishly trying to close Lowden Park and Castle Rock Park. Hell, Lowden makes a profit every year! Go Figure. There is a Family Restaurant on the main drag that does quite a good business. The owner died and wanted his remains returned to his home land so they shut the restaurant down for a few weeks. When they were open there were many cars parked on the main drag for breakfast. When they closed you could shoot a cannon down Wesley in the morning and not hit a thing.
When school started I was sitting by the window having coffee and reading the news when I looked out my window and saw the two teenage boys across the street. Pretty soon the school bus stopped and picked them up. Huh? I mean, we live about 3/4 mile from the school. That, coupled with the fact that gas prices have been out of sight, caused me to wonder has the school board lost their minds? We already have the expense of trucking them down to Oregon. No wonder youngsters are out of shape. I guess I need to stop in at a board meeting one of these days.
Note: I've been waiting for an article from a classmate with some local news, but never got it, so Murray who has a regular e-list he sends to ex-pats agreed to let me use his latest.